“The iPad launched with great enthusiasm in 2010, and just about everyone had to have one,” John Martellaro writes for The Mac Observer. “It was boldly declared to be the harbinger of the Post-PC era. But then it faltered. Now, Apple is positioning the iPad to take up its long-intended role as the PC replacement.”

“The analysis of the sales slowdown invariably led to the idea that the technology wasn’t changing fast enough and that the constraints of iOS, more and more, were holding the hardware back,” Martellaro writes. “As a result, millions of customers found that their iPad 2 or iPad 3 was “good enough” and there was no practical reason to rush out and replace their iPad every year.”

“The original iPad had just enough horsepower to achieve its goal as a convenient content consumption device. However, as technology has advanced, more and more constraints will be lifted until we get to an inflection point,” Martellaro writes. “Finally, we’ll hit that Plateau of Productivity in which the iPad can begin to grow again, not as a second-screen toy, but as our go-to device. In that case, like the former PC era, keeping up with the hardware and software advances will become essential.”

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote in May:

This is an illustration of Apple’s inability to move quickly enough with iOS and iPad hardware (lack of RAM, for one example) to provide a reasonable alternative to traditional laptops for certain use cases (until recently; iPad Pro goes a long way to addressing the issues…) As we wrote last December:

Imagine an “iOS Pro” mode.

Turn on iOS Pro on your iPad Pro
1. Tap Settings > General, and make sure iOS Pro is turned on.
2. There is no step two.

Hey, we can dream, can’t we?

Shouldn’t such a thing already exist? Where would iPad sales be if it did?

Also, as we wrote in March:

When on the road, we want the ultimate in portability (hence why we’re still carrying 11-inch MBAs until the next-gen 12-inch MacBook arrives) — but we want the 4GB RAM packed into the bigger iPad Pro vs. the reported 2GB in the smaller iPad Pro. Screen redraws due to a lack of RAM have been the stumbling block for us really using iPad in the field since its inception. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro finally has enough RAM.

And, as we wrote in February:

Here’s the thing: The iPad saturated its addressable market so quickly and the iPads are so well made and last so damn long that unless Apple provides a really compelling reason to upgrade, most people are just not upgrading yet. We handed off our original iPads to relatives a couple years ago and they’re still being used! Yes, they lack sensors to support many modern iPad games, but they are still in use. We also have immediate family members still using perfectly working iPad 2, iPad 3, and older iPad Air and mini models. The obsolescence cycle for iPad rivals that of the Mac. It’s very long.

The iPad is not a niche product. It had unprecedented uptake and the devices have such long, useful lives that the replacement cycle still hasn’t really kicked in. When it does — and when the macroeconomy improves to the point where users can consider adding the joys of iPad to their computing lives — then we’ll see iPad unit sales growth again. In the meantime, Apple should redouble their efforts at improving iPad – adding Apple Pencil, Smart Connector, and multi-user support (to mention just three things) that will make the iPad even more appealing to buyers.

SEE ALSO:
Apple is about to make millions of iPads obsolete, which is good news for shareholders – July 20, 2016
Apple needs to scale back iOS compatibility with older devices to accelerate device replacement – May 4, 2016
iPad 2: Five years later, it keeps chugging along – April 28, 2016
When will Apple’s iPad sales finally bottom out? – February 4, 2016